ProPrint February 2021

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People Technology Business February 2021



Pick up the pace with the latest Colex digital cutter j

AAB Holdings’ next move Innovation, self-reliance key for next 20 years

Clean & green

Industry reunited

Sustainability has shifted from a lofty ideal to a must-do in today’s world

Power 50 & Emerging 50 brings industry back together after COVID



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Here's hoping 2021 brings more ups than downs This year has already gotten off to a cracking start and no doubt more ups and downs are likely to follow in 2021. It goes without saying that the major printing industry news story for 2020 was the restructure of Ovato, one of Australia's largest printers. Not only was this story significant in this industry, but it also captured the attention of the mainstream media with the controversial Scheme of Arrangement dissected by a number of mainstream newspapers. Many of you have seethed at the NSW Supreme Court-approved plan that allowed Ovato to restructure, slash its debts and carry-on. On the plus side, 900 people are in a job and that is not to be

sniffed at, especially given the impact COVID has had on the economy and the likely further impact when the JobKeeper tap is turned off on March 28. But on the downside, creditors, and the poor old taxpayer, took a big hit and worse still 300 people found themselves out of work in the week of Christmas. Perhaps this is the pain Ovato “had to have” so it could reset itself on a path to prosperity as it builds up its data analytics power to woo customers and prove to them how much print can help the bottom line. One can only hope so. At ProPrint we are very fortunate to receive a regular instalment from printing industry afficionado Frank


Romano. This issue his column describes 2020 as a non-year that history books may forget. Frank’s knowledge of print is unquestioned and he is correct about writing 2020 off. But I have to say the achievements of many of you in what was a shocking year have been exemplary. The courageous action shown by printers to think outside the box in a pandemic was inspiring. So for that reason alone 2020 should not be relegated to the memory scrapheap. We hope you enjoy this edition, which includes the highlights from last year's Power 50 and Emerging 50 event. Enjoy and go well. Q&A 20-31 Konica Minolta's new managing director Yohei Konaka

6-14 Update A round-up of all the major news from the non-stop world of print, including a wrap up of the latest twists in the Ovato restructure scheme

Yohei Konaka is our guest this edition after recently arriving from Japan

16-17 Debrief

34-36 Pick up the pace with Colex

Recap of all the major developments published on


Amari Visual Solutions discusses why the new Colex SharpCUT PRO should be the cutter of choice for printers

The Real Media Collective CEO Kellie Northwood looks at what governments are doing - and what they could do more of to keep government print work onshore

22 2020 Power 50 & Emerging 50


Read about the highlights of the 10th anniversary of the Power 50 and Emerging 50 event held in November

38-39 AAB Holdings's next move

20 Comment: Boyling

23 Power 50 Top Ten revealed

Ambassador for mental health advocacy group, Woman Anchor, and account manager at IVE Group Ashleigh Boyling gives her top self-care tips as we head into 2021

Check out which printing industry leaders and innovators featured in the Top Ten for the 2020 Power 50

21 Comment: Romano

Check out the best photos from the Power 50 & Emerging 50 event with many relishing the opportunity to be together

18 Comment: Northwood

Frank Romano dives into how printers can move forward in 2021


24-27 Power 50 & Emerging 50 evening in photos

AAB Holdings CEO Wayne Finkelde on the company's journey over the last 20 years and where it will go next

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS 40-44 Sustainable Print & Packaging Peter Kohn delves into where the industry is up to in its sustainability journey from the perspective of both printers and suppliers

Editor Sheree Young (02) 8586 6131, National Sales Manager Carmen Ciappara 0410 582 450, Design and Production Manager Carrie Tong Managing Director James Wells Subscriptions (02) 9660 2113 Printed by Hero Print, Alexandria, NSW, 2015. Mailed by D&D Mailing Services, Wetherill Park, NSW, 2164. ProPrint is published bi-monthly by Printer Media Group, registered in Australia ABN 47 628 473 334. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this magazine, it is a condition of distribution that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in the publication. 4 ProPrint February 2021


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Environment, economics drive Bounty Print’s move to CRON CTP by Sheree Young

Cost savings, increased productivity and a reduced environmental impact were the key drivers behind Bounty Print’s decision to upgrade its computer-to-plate (CTP) technology to a CRON TP-3632F thermal imaging system. The CRON was sourced through Currie Group in January this year and is now fully operational at the digital and offset specialist in Melbourne’s Ringwood with all staff trained on how to use the machine. Bounty Print owner Roland Olney said the CRON is producing twice as many plates in the same time as the company’s former violet CTP technology, an ECRM Mako 4Matic. “We upgraded the computer-to-plate system from violet plates which were consuming chemicals and water, to the new thermal plate technology which uses no water and requires no chemicals,” Olney told ProPrint. “The CRON Thermal CTP system produces high quality output and is better for the environment. “We have had our training and we are now up and running with it. Currie Group’s training routine was very good and was all done in one day as the machine is not a complex machine to operate.” The CRON TP-3632F model can deliver 28 plates per hour up to 2800 dpi. The unit’s maximum plate site is 925mm x 660mm with a minimum of 240mm x 320mm.

Bounty Print’s John Olney operates the new CRON

It comes with an automatic positioning system and a built-in air cooling and purifying system. An automatic loading system and stacker is optional on the unit. Bounty Print’s core business is in the offset commercial print areas including anything from business cards, leaflets, to 400-page perfectly bound books and various magazines. The business operates with a full suite of Horizon finishing equipment, illustrating its long-standing relationship with distributor, Currie Group. “Offset is our main core business. We run a 4 colour Shinohara and a 2 colour GTO. We have

all the finishing equipment including Horizon saddle stitchers, collators, perfect binders, folders. We are a Currie Group house. They are good people,” Olney said. Olney said he is proud to be able to make capital investments, given the difficulties of 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. The business is now no longer accessing the JobKeeper scheme after experiencing an upturn in work in September, October and November last year. “We are up and running by ourselves now which is great,” Olney said. “It would be nice to have the income coming in from JobKeeper but that is not the deal. We are making capital purchases in this marketplace, so we have got a belief in the industry and that the industry will move forward once we get a handle on COVID. “Once we get the vaccine over here then I think things will really move ahead. They say that when there is a big downturn, then you have a big upswing so one goes with the other.” Olney is concerned about what the finalisation of JobKeeper in March will mean for the broader industry, particularly the parts of the industry that specialise in digital-only printing. “I think there will be a bit of fallout in the digital area and I think some of the bigger boys have got to question what they are doing at the moment as to whether that stuff is going to come back,” he said.

Government grants available for PacPrint by Sheree Young

This year’s tradeshow, PacPrint, the first physical trade expo for nearly two years, has been accepted as eligible for a federal government business events grant meaning suppliers can apply for funding to help cover costs. The $50 million business events grant programme was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison last September to help rebuild the sector after it was hit hard by COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions. Under the programme, exhibitors that have booked with PacPrint can apply for funding to help pay for participation costs including stand design and building costs, travel and accommodation, marketing and signage. There is a minimum spend of $20,000 but successful applicants can claim up to 50 per cent of their costs, to a maximum of $250,000. PacPrint is scheduled to run over four days from September 28 to October 1, 2021 at the Melbourne Conference and Convention Centre (MCEC). It comes after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s Visual Impact expo and the printing industry global megashow, drupa, which is now being held in 2024 with a virtual show to be held in April 2021. Visual Connections CEO Peter Harper says PacPrint, which will co-locate with the large format focused Visual Impact and the Label & 6 ProPrint February 2021

PacPrint 2021 will be the ‘go-to’ show of the year: Peter Harper

Packaging Expo, will be the ‘go-to’ event for 2021. Harper is urging any suppliers that are interested in exhibiting to waste no time in applying for a grant as the funds may quickly be exhausted. “Visual Connections has been working with the Exhibitions & Events Association of Australia and other event industry associations to ensure PacPrint exhibitors can apply for a share of the $50 million assistance package announced by the Federal Government late last year,” Harper said. “We are delighted that we have achieved eligibility, with PacPrint included on the recentlyreleased list of approved events, however the funding is available only through application by

participating exhibitors and with a cap on the total grants available, organisations will have to move quickly to claim a share.” Harper said to help suppliers apply for the grant, the association is working with Export Solutions, a company that specialises in grant application processes. He added Export Solutions will work on a ‘fee for success’ basis. Anyone interested in applying is asked to contact Export Solutions grants advisor Katarina Dayoan on 0414 977 775 or email at Those seeking information on exhibiting at PacPrint should contact Visual Connections on +61 2 9868 1577 or email



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Ovato’s survival plan approved by Sheree Young

After months of planning, one of Australia’s major heatset printers, Ovato, achieved what many thought impossible with a complex restructuring and recapitalisation plan approved in the NSW Supreme Court. The plan to wind up four Ovato companies, make 300 jobs redundant, close the Clayton factory and ask some creditors to take 50 cents for each dollar owed went public on November 12 sparking widespread dismay, anger and frustration across the industry. The discovery that the 300 staff – many decades-long employees – would be referred to the Fair Entitlements Scheme (FEG) for their entitlements in the week of Christmas sent another wave of anger through the industry. That these same employees had also agreed to an Australian Manufacturers Workers Union (AMWU) brokered enterprise agreement which reduced redundancy payouts from $30m to $18m poured more fuel on the fire. AMWU assistant national secretary (print and packaging) Lorraine Cassin told ProPrint under the revised EBA redundancy pay went from an uncapped four weeks’ pay per year of service, to two weeks capped to 52 weeks. But the plan to revive Ovato – which has suffered revenue losses for several years as it grappled with digital disruption and more recently COVID-19 – was ulimately successful. Creditors gave it the tick on November 19 and then on December 21 the NSW Supreme Court followed suit. This opened the way for an equity injection of $40 million, with $25m supplied by the Hannan family and Ovato client Are Media, contributing $10m.

Major milestone: Ovato CEO Kevin Slaven says the court approval of the restructure plan has secured the company’s future

A secured debt facility of $17m was also established and the Hannan family’s stake went from 53.79 per cent to 50.75 per cent. Ovato chief executive officer Kevin Slaven has steadfastly defended the scheme by saying that without it the whole group would be no more and all 1200 jobs would have been lost. With this option, he says, 900 people remain employed and Ovato has some money with which to realise its plans for the expansion of its data analytics tool to ensure printed material lands in the most profitable spots for Ovato’s clients. “Today’s Court approval is another major

milestone to secure the future of our business together with the ongoing employment of hundreds of our people,” Slaven said on the day the deal was finally approved. “Getting to this point has taken many months of focus, effort, and belief from all our stakeholders. The support of our suppliers, financiers, and staff has been extraordinary. “It is also with great sadness that we say goodbye to many of our work colleagues, particularly at this time of year. We remain committed to doing everything in our power to provide the best level of support that we can in their transition.”

End of an era for Ovato employees by Sheree Young

The closure of Ovato’s Clayton print site was painful with many employees who lost their jobs in the process sharing a common story. The average age of workers was 45 to 50 years and the majority had worked at the factory for over 20 years. When the company’s restructure was approved, these employees not only lost their jobs, but were confronted with an anxious wait for their taxpayer-funded entitlements. Persa Bajada, 52, was among them. Persa has had a long connection to Ovato. Her father worked there, and she joined straight after high school as a graphics reproduction apprentice. She even met her husband there. Now after 30 years of service, she, like hundreds of others, is facing an uncertain future. She said the whole experience has been incredibly stressful and she was looking forward to just getting out of there. She told ProPrint she wishes more compassion and respect had have been shown to those losing their jobs. She also questioned why a 8 ProPrint February 2021

30 years of service: Persa Bajada

company backed by the wealthy Hannan family would not just foot the redundancy bill. That it all happened right before Christmas

added to the disappointment. “It is a really big concern for a lot of people,” Persa said. “I’ve had to defer my home loan and we’ve all had to do certain things, but it is very horrible how it is being done right before Christmas. “We wonder why they couldn’t have just kept us on JobKeeper for a little while longer. There is absolutely no compassion.” An Ovato spokesman told ProPrint a proportion of employee entitlements could be paid on the date of the redundancies, with the balance in 2021. He also said the $35 million in equity from the Hannan family and Are Media will be used to pay down debt so the company can return to profitability and have a future. CEO Kevin Slaven said the alternative option was to close the business down completely. “Ovato is terribly sorry that 300 workers had to be let go, but the alternative would have been disastrous for the company, its employees and the industry,” Slaven said.


PVCA, Ovato in war of words by Sheree Young

The approval of Ovato’s survival scheme sparked a stoush between the printer and industr y a ssociation, Print & Visua l Communication Association. After the deal’s approval, Print and Visual Communication Association (PVCA) president Walter Kuhn told The Australian the scheme would harm the industry as suppliers would recoup their losses with increased prices. Ovato chief executive officer Kevin Slaven, who is on the Executive Board of rival printing industry association The Real Media Collective, described the claim as absurd, reiterating the the scheme was the only option. “Therefore, it is astonishing, absurd and illogical that Walter Kuhn of the PVCA should attack the Scheme and claim it will damage the industry,” Slaven said in a statement to ProPrint. “To make the assertion that suppliers will increase pricing to the rest of the industry to recoup losses is completely unfounded and without substance or logic. The suppliers who incurred financial loss through the restructure were very few in number and all of them voted in favour of the Scheme. “All other Ovato suppliers were not affected and have continued to be paid in full. “Instead of making negative and unfounded assertions, I would have thought Walter and his

Absurd claims: Ovato CEO Kevin Slaven Industry damage: PVCA president Walter Kuhn

industry body should be a little more positive that we have saved 900 jobs in the printing industry which the PVCA was created to promote and support. “Ovato stopped providing financial support to the PVCA in recent years because we considered them almost irrelevant to the industry. His recent comments have validated our

decision. If the PVCA was confident about its analysis and predictions, perhaps it should have made a submission to the Court so that it could be scrutinised like our material. They failed to do so.” Kuhn told ProPrint the PVCA was unable to make a case to the NSW Supreme Court as it was not a creditor of Ovato. However, he said the association had made its dissatisfaction known with the federal government. The PVCA went on to say the restructure will hurt the industry and said some members had already reported a tightening of their terms of trade. “Kevin Slaven’s ad hominem attack as response to economic commentary does not reflect well on him personally, nor does it reflect well on the culture of Ovato,” the PVCA said in a statement to ProPrint. “Our industry association stands for best practice and excellence. Unfortunately, the trajectory of Ovato does not exemplify either. “It is erroneous to claim that there will be no deleterious impact on the rest of our industry from the Ovato restructure. Members have already reported that some vendors have substantially restricted terms of trade, up to and including 100 per cent pre-payment terms, explicitly as a direct consequence of the actions of Ovato.

Scheme sets “no precedent”: Slaven by Sheree Young

There are fears that the Ovato deal has set a dangerous precedent and that other companies from both inside and outside of the print sector will follow suit. With four Ovato businesses now in liquidation and a group of significant creditors happy to take 50 cents in the dollar owed, the overarching Ovato Limited operation has got less staff on its hands and some money in the bank to help it grow and prosper. The printing industry is deeply concerned about what all of this means for other businesses with many concerned a dangerous precedent has been set, especially considering the 300 employees were directed to the FEG scheme for payments. In response, Ovato CEO Kevin Slaven said the court and creditor approved Scheme of Arrangement has set no precedent and if anything will actually help the downstream print economy. “The Scheme sets no precedent because these were truly exceptional circumstances,” Slaven said in a statement provided to ProPrint. “Ovato suffered $100 million losses last financial year as digital disruption continued to impact the industry before it had a chance to fully adapt. “COVID accelerated the decline and in the

No precedent: Ovato CEO Kevin Slaven says the exceptional circumstances faced by Ovato means the scheme sets no precedent

second half of last year there was little cash in the company. Temporary laws that protected companies from insolvency were to expire on 31 December. “The Scheme, in effect, shrunk the insolvency from a very large one to a much smaller one.” Print & Visual Communications Association president Walter Kuhn disagrees and believes a

dangerous precedent has been set. “Any results from court action will set a precedent for future court cases and that is a fact of law whether it be positive or negative,” Kuhn said. Kuhn also questioned whether smaller operators, like mum and dad print shops, would have been able to receive the same treatment if they had faced similar circumstances. February 2021 ProPrint 9


Currie Group, EFI join forces for wide format By Hafizah Osman

EFI and Currie Group have come together in a new Australia and New Zealand distribution partnership with EFI Asia Pacific vice president of sales Rodd Harrison describing it as a “combination of two powerhouses”. The agreement makes Currie Group the only distributor for EFI’s range of roll to roll, flatbed and hybrid printers in the A/NZ region. Currie Group was established in 1949 and is one of the largest, independent, privately owned suppliers to the printing industry operating on both sides of the Tasman. The company is well known for its technical training and development expertise. It also offers the latest technology in prepress, print and finishing equipment. Currie Group executive chairman David Currie said, “Currie Group continues to drive growth in our business and for our customers through digital transformation. “Printing companies have many opportunities for growth with wide-format, so we are excited to begin this new partnership to provide customers with EFI’s world-class, versatile UV LED solutions. “The range of innovations available through EFI’s line up of roll to roll, flatbed and hybrid printers opens up new, creative possibilities for our customers.” Harrison says the both companies share a similar go-to-market strategy with Currie Group recognised for its expertise in digital printing and EFI known for its continued push into wide-format digital printing. “We’re driving this analog to digital conversion, even in the offset space, and in the highvolume retail graphics space, which gets rid of screen printing. “That segways into the EFI and Currie Group

Driving the digital transformation in print: EFI Asia Pacific vice president of sales Rodd Harrison

partnership,” Harrison told ProPrint. “Currie Group is the top business in the space that it plays in. EFI’s wide-format range is quite large and as the main go-to-market in A/NZ, we are now funnelling all these leads through Currie Group.” Partnership talks between the two companies began a few months ago. “Currie Group approached us and given its fantastic reputation, incredible infrastructure, great service coverage across every market, and a professional group of people, along with our product portfolio and continual innovation, it was the perfect marriage. “We now have a tier one manufacturer with a tier one distribution company,” Harrison said. Harrison said printers are preparing for a strong comeback in 2021 after the impacts of the pandemic and to achieve this are needing to reengineer their businesses.

“No one is buying capacity – everyone is looking for efficiency,” Harrison said. “We have been able to close nearly 20 placements in the second half of 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, and that’s only because our products are delivering value to customers. The market cannot lie. “The pandemic has been brutal on everybody, not just our industry. It has forced everyone to raise their games and change their go-to-market strategies, including us. “Literally everything in our business has had to change.” To equip itself to service this market, Currie Group has hired Paul Whitehead, a 20 year industry veteran, as its new wide-format business manager. Whitehead will be responsible for creating, managing and growing Currie Group and EFI’s presence in the wide-format market.

Jet Technologies shows new Screen Truepress By Hafizah Osman

Jet Technologies is now demonstrating Screen’s latest inkjet label printing technology, the Screen Truepress Jet L350UV SAI S, at its Sydney showroom. The new press is said to deliver full colour definition and high-opacity white printing with Jet Technologies adding its high productivity rate means it can deliver a 20 per cent increase in throughput for colour printing compared to its predecessor. There is also a 67 per cent productivity increase when the high-opacity printing method is being utilised. Other standout features include improved quality and stability, easy application and board application, as well as exceptional registration accuracy for micro-droplets for security printing support. “We are very excited to welcome this new innovation to the A /NZ ma rket,” Jet Technologies sales director David Reece said. 10 ProPrint February 2021

Productivity gains: Screen Truepress Jet L350UV SAI S

“We now already have clients printing 20,000 lineal metre runs, and with the substantial improvements to productivity experienced from the L350UV SAI series, there is no reason why they can’t aim for even larger print runs that have, until recently, been restricted to the domain of flexo.” The addition of orange and blue, along with CGS colour matching using CxF data, enables

printers to achieve an extremely wide range of the colour gamut, with extremely high levels of repeatability. Jet Technologies says the extra colours also provide a noticeable reduction in ink usage. “The L350UV is able to print on an extremely wide range of local and imported materials, and we are glad to have worked alongside Jet Technologies to bring this product to life in their demo centre,” Screen GP managing director Peter Scott said. “The current installations in Australia and New Zealand report uptime in the range of 92 to 97 per cent, including the oldest installations that are approaching five years. The aspect of reliability and intelligent performance delivered by the L350UV is something we are most proud of. “Any press will be reliable when it is new, but to maintain this high level of performance after many years, that is what Screen is renowned for.”

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Industry braces for end of JobKeeper by Sheree Young

With the federal government’s JobKeeper scheme set to end on March 28, many are worried about what this will mean for business and the broader economy. The fortnightly $1500 JobKeeper wage support payments for eligible employees started in March 2020, decreasing to $1200 a fortnight in September and then $1000 in January as the country emerged from the pandemic. At end of March the tap will be turned off completely off leaving businesses to stand on their own two feet. Any hope of an extension was snuffed out by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in early February, when he categorically ruled it out telling the ABC it was always a “temporary program” and that more than $80 billion had already been spent supporting 3.5 million Australians. While this support has been gladly welcomed and relied upon for business survival, there are concerns it has masked the true reality and that soon there will be a rush of insolvencies as businesses realise they just can’t keep going on. This has prompted the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, to call for help so small businesses can be better prepared for the road ahead. She is urging small business owners to act now to secure their assets through the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) so they are

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell

protected in the event of becoming insolvent. “Given the incredibly tough past 12 months we’ve had and the predictions of a wave of insolvencies to come, PPSR has never been more important,” Carnell said. “The greatest pity is that many small businesses find it too difficult to use.” Carnell says while many small operators have invested heavily in their businesses during COVID, few know they can secure these loans so they can be more secure. Carnell has released a PPSR Research Paper which calls for an urgent overhaul of the PPSR

system to make it more accessible. “The name is confusing, the language is overly technical, and the operation of the register is very complicated,” she said. “Many small businesses we spoke to said they would need a lawyer to help them register their interests – an additional cost burden for struggling small businesses. “Put simply – systems and regulations imposed on small businesses by government need to be easy to get right and hard to get wrong. “At the moment, PPSR is hard to get right and easy to get wrong.” The report asks small business cloud accounting platforms to look at implementing a pop-up reminder to small business owners who record a personal loan to the balance sheet to remind them to register the loan on the PPSR. Carnell has also called on the federal government o look at offering revenue-contingent loans for businesses. This scheme would operate in a similar way to how HECS works for university students in that the loan would not need to be paid back until business turnover hit a designated level. “Even in the best of times, small businesses have struggled to secure finance. Taking into account the enormous challenges they are now facing, the fallout of insufficient working capital could be devastating,” she said.

Australia’s ports a ‘wicked problem’: Ai Group’s Willox by Hafizah Osman

Sea freight-dependant suppliers are continuing to face significant issues a s t he operation of Australia’s ports continue to impede productivity, a discussion paper from Ai Group says shows. Ai Group CEO Innes Willox says concerns about the impact Australia’s ports have on productivity and competition are still being raised, despite it being nearly a decade since Shipping Australia released a landmark report on the issue. “These issues appear to be exacerbated by instances of industrial action, like the acute pain being felt in Sydney,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created even more chaos, demonstrating a need to plan for disasters or unex pected globa l disruptions in all areas of the economy, including in our ports. “It is clear from the Ai Group Discussion Paper that significant issues associated with our ports 12 ProPrint February 2021

persist which could undermine our resilience, competitiveness and COVID recovery, should we fail to address them.” Willox referred to a 2019 Macquarie University Lighthouse lecture series which described Australian port and shipping policy as a ‘wicked problem’ and said this situation remains today. He said Ports Australia data showed 98 per cent of trade goes through Australia’s ports with a many jobs relying on imports and exports in some way. “Despite our dependence on them, Australia has followed many other countries by largely privatising our ports to fund other state infrastructure projects and reduce debt,” he said. “However, privatisation has brought risks. “Undervaluation of port assets, increasing port charges, competition issues, less port investment and less concern for long-term public interest.”


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Durst launches new high-speed P5 by Sheree Young

Durst, an Italian manufacturer of advanced printing technologies, has unveiled the latest member of its P5 family, the high-speed Durst P5 350 HS press. The new press operates at twice the speed of its predecessor and can produce 600 square metres per minute. It was unveiled at a global virtual launch in December with Durst Oceania managing director Matt Ashman hosting a more localised launch for A/NZ customers. “We at Durst have not rested and the new P5 350 HS is a triumph of innovation and realworld functionality you have been asking us for,” Ashman said. “I’m very proud to bring these devices to the Oceanic region in 2021.” Ashman says the speed enhancements of the new P5 350 HS make this press the most productive hybrid printer in the market. The new model includes the same unique features as the P5 350 including the versatile multi-roll and the multitrack 6 option. The press can also be configured with up to nine colour channels including light colours and white, and varnish for special multilayer printing applications such as ‘Day & Night’, ‘In & Out’, and up to 12 layers hapt-printing. The new P5 350 HS was part of a broader launch of new products from Durst, all aimed at driving up productivity through automation and innovation.

Durst Oceania managing director Matt Ashman

Also launched was Durst’s new Automat inline feeding technology, an enhanced Durst software offering, a full LED ink portfolio and details of a new partnership allowing Durst Workflow to be used on non-Durst printers. The new fully automated inline board feeding and stacking solution can be combined with the new P5 350 HS. It comprises two lanes for increased productivity and speed. It can handle board sizes up to 3.5m wide and 2.2m long with a loading capacity of 90cm. Durst Group sales director – graphics segment, Christian Harder, said: “The launch of our latest family Durst P5 member, the P5 350 HS, is an important statement of our firm commitment to continue to be at the forefront of

innovation in the large format market.” A new partnership with PrintFactory means Durst Workflow can now be used on non-Durst printers. The partnership has allowed Durst to access PrintFactory’s superior API software for easy management of different print environments. A new inkset was also unveiled which Durst says is a “best-in-class” hybrid ink suitable for a variety of roll-to-roll and board media. This was described as another example of a future-proof ink that can be used with Durst’s full portfolio of LED printers. Durst has been steadily building its workflow offerings in line with its end-to-end thinking for 360-degree business solutions aimed at the Smart Factory concept to streamline production and processes. The company says Durst Smart Shop, Workflow, Analytics, Lift ERP – and now Durst Automat – all push automation boundaries. Durst Group CEO Christoph Gamper said: “We’re looking forward to the future. I am confident that in 2021 the economy will recover and, in some fields, be even stronger than before. So, we will continue what we do best: innovating with passion. “In 2019, we launched the P5 platform and we now have more than 100 systems around the globe. This is a great achievement so a big thank you to all of our customers, partners and our great Durst team members across the world.”

RMGT in UV LED partnership with GEW by Sheree Young

A partnership has been struck between Ryobi MHI Graphic Technology Ltd and GEW which means GEW’s LeoLED UV curing system will now be factory-fitted to all new RMGT sheetfed offset presses. RMGT pioneered UV LED technology and introduced the world’s first LED curing system for sheetfed printing at drupa in 2008. After investigating all major UV LED manufacturers, RMGT has now formally adopted the GEW product as its definitive new solution. GEW says the innovation has started a print industry revolution which is gathering pace. RMGT president Katsushi Hirokawa said the company’s knowledge of UV curing technology enabled it to make a sound judgement. “RMGT is committed to building relationships of trust with customers, peripheral device manufacturers and all others involved in the industry. We continually work with our partners to refine and perfect technologies, and to bring innovative new products to the world of printing,” he said. “Inspired by this corporate philosophy, we have pioneered LED UV and it is our in-depth experience and knowledge of this technology that has enabled us to make a sound judgment 14 ProPrint February 2021

GEW managing director – sales Robert Rae

about our future UV curing partner.” GEW is dominant in the label and narrow web arena and its 30 years’ experience supporting major machine manufacturers gives it a strong base from which to expand into offset. The 2019 introduction of GEW’s compact, high performance LeoLED UV curing system, which suits sheetfed applications, drew attention from RMGT’s distribution network and this led to the first test installation at the company’s HQ in Hiroshima, in early 2020.

The LeoLED system has been tested on several presses, in multiple configurations and GEW says the results surpassed all existing performance criteria. GEW managing director of sales Robert Rae said the announcement affirms GEW as the leading supplier for UV LED curing systems. “Our latest LeoLED system offers a very high power and is used in one form for all markets and applications,” Rae said. “This means that it is produced in high volumes, bringing outstanding reliability at a highly competitive cost. In a sheetfed environment, GEW’s Modular Lamp Array (MLA) allows any number of lamps to be positioned and quickly moved throughout the press. “This means the same LeoLED product can be used for low, medium and high-performance applications but arranged in single, double or triple MLA configuration dependent upon the application and speed requirements. It is this concept that appealed to RMGT, both for ultimate reliability and for the flexibility of configurations across their wide range of presses.” GEW says it has a reputation for engineering and manufacturing UV systems to exacting standards, adding it assembles and fully tests every UV system before despatch.






Multi track

Dual roll

Multi roll

Continuous printing of up to 6 boards side by side

Integrated material transport system with independent dancers

Roll material changeover time minimized



Debrief Recapping the major developments since your last issue. Stories are breaking every day at

December issue

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SCREEN, CGS ORIS JOIN FORCES Screen GP and CGS Oris have together created a new spot colour-matching solution to meet the growing need for independent colour management solutions. Unlike conventional ICC profiles, the new CxF (Colour Exchange Format) solution includes spot colour spectral information, including halftones and transmittance, which allows for more accurate colour calculations to precisely reproduce a colour at any time. Screen Australia managing director Peter Scott (pictured) says there is a growing need for independent colour management solutions to ensure consistent colour reproduction, especially as digital and hybrid print solutions continue to expand.

GJS’ AUST-FIRST EPSON INSTALL GJS installed Australia’s first Epson SC-F3000 garment printer at Sydney’s slow fashion label, Lonely Kids Club. The business, founded in 2010 by Warwick Levy (pictured), produces ethically made clothing which is highquality and low cost. Levy says he chose the press due to its increased speed and lower ink costs. “When we saw the speed and capabilities of the new Epson SC-F3000, the decision really was a no-brainer. Coupled with the addition of the new bulk ink system which not only reduces the cost per print, but minimises waste with very little environmental impact, we knew that the SC-F3000 was the way forward for us,” he said. The SC-F3000 is Epson’s first industrial DTG printer.

INKMAKER GROUP PICKS NOVASYS Italian paint and ink manufacturer, Inkmaker Group, has chosen Australianbased Novasys Group, as its agent for A/NZ. The deal was struck between Inkmaker Group’s Asia Pacific CEO Roberto Guerra and Novasys CEO Ron Craigie (pictured). “This is a great achievement for both parties; Inkmaker Group’s prowess in the fields of ink, coatings, tinting and special applications is widely recognised by leading multi-nationals,” Craigie said.

News happens every day at

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A B GRAPHIC 2000TH INSTALL Print finishing manufacturer, A B Graphic, has installed its 2000th Vectra turret rewinder at US-based label converter, OMNI Systems. Currie Group is the A/NZ distributor for A B Graphic. A B Graphic began manufacturing turret rewinders in 1995 and the entry level ECTR 4 is now a common choice for many label printers. The ECTR is fully upgradable with a range of options, including automatic core loading, finished roll closure with print and apply label application, and ABG’s own fleyeVision 100% camera inspection system. A B Graphic’s Middleton-on-theWolds turret rewinder production director Dave Lawson said, “Reaching 2,000 Vectra orders is a significant achievement in 25 years. The landmark reflects our global reach and the excellent professional relationships we have developed with key customers. Without our loyal and dedicated team at ABG we would not be celebrating this milestone.”

CCS LOOKS TO EXPAND CCS Media Packaging is looking to beef up its sales team this year. CCS founder and owner, Kevin Wilson, says the Sydney-based company needs sales and marketing executives to focus on sustainable packaging. “We’re looking for the right people to join our business that can pass on the message to customers that sustainable packaging is the right direction forward,” Wilson said. “If we’re going to be serious about pushing the sustainability boat, which we are, we will need an expert in that field, and someone dedicated within our business to do that.” In operation for more than 30 years, CCS provides customised packaging to the media, games, consumer and personal care industries. Clients include Disney, Sony, Technicolor, Roadshow, Sapphire, L’Occitane, Edible Beauty and Vittoria. The business has a current team of 35 people, with many having been with the company for over 15 years.

Sign up for our free regular news bulletin. 16 ProPrint February 2021


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FORMER HP INDIGO GM’s NEW GIG Alon BarShany, the former general manager of HP Indigo, is now the Chairman of digital cutting and creasing machinery manufacturer, Highcon. BarShany, who announced his departure from HP Indigo in June 2020, now joins his former boss, founder of Indigo and current Chairman of the Landa Group, Benny Landa, on the Highcon board. Highcon was recently floated on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and raised $45m during its IPO. It is now making senior appointments to bolster its management team and Board of Directors. Bar-Shany replaces Amichai Steimberg, who has held the position of Chairman since mid-2020 during the IPO process and is stepping down as planned.

OOH SUFFERS COVID HIT 2020 full year out of home (OOH) financial results show the industry suffered a 39.4% revenue drop to $566.5m, down from $935.5m for 2019. Digital OOH earnings took up 56.1% of that, increasing from 55.8% the year before. Outdoor Media Association acting CEO Kylie Green said 2020 challenged the entire advertising industry, with OOH copping the the full brunt of COVID-19 lockdowns. But she says the situation is looking a little brigher with net media revenue up 6.7% from November to December. “Audiences are returning to outdoor spaces, and consumer confidence in December was a ten-year high,” she said, adding data shows agency spend has grown by 8.3% after 26 months of decline.

IMAGING ASSOCIATION TO WIND UP The Imaging and Digital Entertainment Association (IDEA), which represents photography and digital media, will be wound up on June 30, 2022 after more than 40 years. President James Murray said the difficult decision was made at a recent AGM as revenue from 2020 events did not materialise due to COVID-19. “Despite the value the association has brought to the industry, IDEA would not be financially viable beyond Project 2020 without a new income stream of major events, such as exhibitions,” he said. Project 2020 was an initiative where members could submit a promotional concept and IDEA would provide funds as sponsorship for the activity.

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PANTONE 2021 COLOURS Pantone has chosen its colours for 2021 with Ultimate Gray and Illuminating selected. The choice marks a combination of cheery yellow and a strong grey which can be used together in a multitude of ways. Pantone says either Ultimate Gray (175104) or Illuminating (13-0647) can take precedence in a design and can be easily used on items including apparel, beauty, home furnishings, product design or packaging. Illuminating is the colour of highest visibility and reflectivity and when used with Ultimate Gray produces a visually noticeable message no matter where it appears. “The coupling of friendly Illuminating with quietly assuring Ultimate Gray infuses a message of vitality into a firm foundation of reliability, wisdom and experience for packaging and multi-media design,” the company said. Pantone says the combo adds a “a dose of sunshine and positivity” to any room.

HEIDELBERG SELLS INK FACTORY Heidelberg has sold its Belgian chemical factory as it continues to eye core activities. The operation was sold to DruckChemie, a subsidiary of Langley Holdings for €20.5m ($A32m). DruckChemie supplies specialty chemicals, consumables and services to the printing and graphics industries while Langley Holdings is an engineering firm that produces goods for industries, including printing. The sale includes BluePrint Products NV and Hi-Tech Chemicals BV, located in Kruibeke, Belgium. The site manufactures printing chemicals for flexographic and offset printing. Heidelberg says it will continue to offer these chemicals as part of its consumables’ strategy. “With the withdrawal from the production of printing chemicals, we are making good progress with our realignment and concentration on our core activities,” Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer said.

RESULT GROUP TO DISTRIBUTE DATALASE Australian labelling, shrink sleeving, coding and marking machines and selfadhesive labels supplier, Result Group, has been named as the distributor of photonic printing solutions company, DataLase. Result Group general manager Michael Dossor says DataLase’s coding solutions are an efficient and advanced way of applying variable information onto a variety of packaging, including GS1, 2D and 1D barcodes, batch or date codes, check-weigh and sequential batch numbers. The inkless solution uses laser technology with colour change pigments to create high resolution, high contrast print to deliver. Being a viable alternative to printed labels, high-resolution inkjet and waxjet solutions, Dossor says not only does the solution eliminate unnecessary waste and single-use plastics from the supply chain, but it also delivers high contrast, high quality, durable codes that do not smudge or rub off.

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Buy Australian made and owned – our industry’s best foot forward to government is local manufacturing The Real Media Collective has called on government at all levels to implement clear policies that mandate the procurement of all print related products be Australian made and manufactured.



ur industry is highly fragmented with 5,817 businesses operating in it. The four largest companies comprise 40 per cent of revenue and a majority of firms employ less than 20 people. This means 95 per cent of printers are small businesses with annual turnovers less than $2 million. This demonstrates an industry dominated by Australian employers, owners and manufacturing. We are the economic recovery Australia will turn to in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic coincided with trade union and industry bodies calling for all government print work to be done in Australia. TRMC supports this sentiment, however, our initial dialogue with government has shown they are, for the most part, sourcing locally. As a part of our investigation, we were directed to state and federal print management contracts across various departments. This sent us into the trenches researching reports, analysing datasets, surveying our members, interviewing nonmembers and querying government contacts. Early on we recognised there are limitations to the data available and that we need a government solution to deliver improvement for our industry and members. Unfortunately, from the data reviewed and the stakeholders engaged, we could not identify with absolute certainty the final figure on the amount of government print work being sent offshore. Ibisworld reports $A340m worth of print is off-shored annually. However, when TRMC broke this down we determined this work was a combination of publishing — cookbooks make up a large majority of offshored work — and signage, including a double-digit percentage of fabric flags and graphic packaging. When reviewing government work, the closest TRMC could determine was being produced off-shore was around $50m-80m per annum, and we remain cautious reporting that number. Still, it is large enough to call on government to maintain local 18 ProPrint February 2021

manufacturing which was where we quickly averted our attention. TRMC also reviewed government guidelines which do, in most instances, highlight priority for Australian companies, environmental and ethical procurement. However, when exploring the large government print contracts, it was determined that the majority sit within print management contractual agreements with print companies as approved suppliers. Government departments do seem to share work across many organisations, thus the print management and preferred supplier modelling is more common than direct print company contracts. This is where there is a ‘grey area’ of print company supply and sub-supply arrangements. Print management groups do offer single supply management and standardised reporting which often aligns with government procurement policies. However, once the print manager is selected, it was determined that government procurement departments may not specify or rate higher for the products to be produced in Australia, rather, the contractual KPIs lean more closely to cost reduction targets. TRMC believes cost is not the only measure to which government should be assessing. Freight, environment, modern anti-slavery legislation and ethical business practices have an economic cost and social impact on Australia. Governments should include these factors in their procurement processes, regardless of whether a print management or direct print model is adopted. To gain greater insight and lead industry discussions, TRMC initiated an awareness campaign which included fact sheets about the environmental social inclusion and ethical conduct of our sectors across government, highlighting industry concern, the impact on jobs, the environment and ethical sourcing. The main department we are engaging with at a federal and state level is the Department of Treasury and Finance. It is worthwhile commending these departments for their interest in supporting the industry. We have received returned correspondence with two key positives. The

first being confirmation they have practices in place to ensure no work is off-shored and that where they do not, they will seek further information. This is incredibly reassuring as we continue to develop guidelines to help departments with their policies and tendering processes. TRMC has outlined our industry’s commitment to economic reinvigoration and the critical role government can play in assisting our industry starts with mandating all materials are Australian made. We have called on all levels of government to implement clear policies that mandate the procurement of all print related products be from Australian made and manufactured products and sources. All members have the opportunity for each piece of government work they produce to reiterate these messages, to reinforce our industry’s commitment to the environment, ethical sourcing, and the strength of print as a strong social inclusion channel, as opposed to digital outputs which exclude those without the skills or IT equipment to readily access information. TRMC has also joined the Australian Made campaign as a Campaign Associate. Australian Made Campaign Associates are membership organisations, industry groups and other cooperatives that provide support and leadership to Australia’s growers and manufacturers. Campaign Associates leverage their relationship with the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo to strengthen ties with their membership and local industry and improve access to country-of-origin branding resources. Together, we can unite under a common voice, share common information, and represent our common industry strengths. Buy local and support Australia in 2021 will be a major commitment and priority for TRMC and I look forward to working with you all to stand together as we advocate for our cause. Kellie Northwood is the Chief Executive Officer, The Real Media Collective. For any questions related to this article, membership or if you have any other questions, contact

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Self-care is critically important in these tough times – check out this guide to get you started Ashleigh Boyling is an account manager at IVE Group and also the program manager for mental health advocacy group, Woman Anchor. Here, she shares some insights into how best to take care of yourself when times are tough. ASHLEIGH BOYLING

or it might even be as simple as a walk, but only you know the things that make you feel better. Start doing them more often!


atigue. A word I will associate 2020 with for so many reasons. They are reasons that you know all about, so I won’t list them off here. But if you were feeling the fatigue by the time the Christmas break came in December, know that you were not the only one. In fact, research from work management platform, Asana, found that over three quarters of Australians suffered from work burnout last year. Worse was that we didn’t get to leave the pandemic in December, so we face a very hard realisation that the battle continues. We battle it in our industry and we battle the impact it has on our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our teams. There has never been a more important time to start combatting fatigue with selfcare. What does self-care look like to you? Self-care is self-initiated and done purposefully to benefit your own wellbeing. It doesn’t require expense or excessive amounts of time to achieve it. A sure self-care act for me is a walk with my friend that finishes with a sit-down coffee at our local coffee shop. Walking with that particular friend is key as I acknowledge it to be good for me processing what’s

Ashleigh’s tips for self-care: • Be proactive, don’t let your engine go flat before you recharge it; • Prioritise what you need to feel recharged – a walk, exercise, a massage or a quiet night in; • Reflect on what’s bothering you and how you can go about addressing these worries; • Reset yourself – say ‘no’ more often if you need to but also prioritise the ‘yes’ for exercise and a catch up with friends or family; • If you don’t know what you need to ensure you are taking care of yourself – FIGURE IT OUT!

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Taking time to slow your thoughts and write things down can help clear the mind

happening in life and how I feel about it – it cannot be just anyone. The ritual of ordering a coffee and sitting down to enjoy it is also important in this act of self-care for me. Monday to Friday we don’t afford ourselves that luxury and I love a good coffee. Because I know the great benefit this has to my wellbeing, we prioritise this for Saturday mornings and that is key; making self-care a priority. I believe many people already know what they need to do more (or less of) to rest and recharge; it’s the lack of priority we place on it that promotes burn-out. When was the last time you practised selfcare? I aim for two sessions of at least twenty minutes a week and I say that with zero shame. We need to in order to prevent burn out. A self-care regime, should always be with the intent of recharging, reflecting and resetting.

Recharge This is not to be interpreted as wait until empty before you plug back in for more power. Self-care is to help prevent running on empty and why consistency is so important. What activities leave you feeling rejuvenated and relaxed? It doesn’t have to be costly or extravagant. Massage, podcasts, a long bath with salts

Reflection is key in identifying how we plan and react for the many things that make up life. You may reflect on your day, recurring worries or thought patterns and how you can go about relieving them. Conversely, you may be considering how wonderful you feel at the moment and what has triggered it so that you can attempt to extend these feelings. I reflect better in isolation, but maybe you reflect better by talking through things with your partner or a trusted friend over coffee? If so, that’s brilliant — continue to practise the art of reflecting.

Reset Reset is so important because it helps minimise the chance of us continuing the same patterns that are causing us to burn through our precious resources. Sometimes you may reset and realise you need to use the word ‘no’ more often; that you simply do not have the capacity to do each one of the things that you are asked to do or be involved in. Or you might need to reset by saying ‘yes’ next time a friend asks you to prioritise getting to a spin class or having dinner with them. You know, all those important things we sacrifice when we become stressed and busy? My challenge to you today is simple… If you’re not sure what self-care looks like for you, FIGURE IT OUT! It needs to support an environment that allows you to recharge, reflect and reset. When you have a plan in place, prioritise some time to make it happen regularly. As we continue to work harder and fight to see our great industry out of this, please remember to look after yourself in the process. For more information about Women in Print, please visit:


Making 2021 a great year for printers 2020 was the year many will be happy to forget as the industry now looks ahead at recovery

Printing industry luminary Frank Romano offers some fresh insights into how printers can get ahead in 2021 and move on from one of the most difficult years on record. FRANK ROMANO


nother year lies ahead of us. The last one was not so hot. History books may skip over 2020 as a non-year. Here are some suggestions for a happy and prosperous 2021.

Stay informed. Our technology is improving every day. Whether you need more productivity for offset or digital or other areas of the plant, there are many alternatives. Perhaps too many alternatives. I attend many seminars and conferences and I am yet to attend one where I have not heard a good idea that could improve some aspect of production or increase sales. Read. Listen. Learn.

Streamline operations. Robotics are entering the printing industry. We have had automation for some time. Remember when automatic plate loading was introduced by Komori in 1993? And JDF workflows in 2000? Think how jobs are delivered over the web nowadays with virtual proofs returned. These were new ideas once. Just one new idea can be worth its weight in gold. Ultra-efficiency is your goal. Many of the skillsets of the “old” printing industry are now programs and apps. New presses and digital printers are very efficient and produce more print with less labour than ever before.

Invest in the ability to produce new printed products. Growth comes from selling more of what you produce. But it also comes from selling new things that you can also produce if you have the right technology. Entering new markets will become more important as traditional markets begin to see softness. Eschew the attitude that “if you build it, they will come”. Do your homework and invest for good reasons. That homework should include trade journals, websites, virtual trade meetings, research reports and any other source of information. And give new ideas the benefit of the doubt. It is said that in 20 years, most of your income will come from print products that do not exist today. A good example is wide format inkjet. It was introduced in the late 1990s and today is a major source of income for printers.

Measure. Analyse. Document. Keep good records on productivity and all plant operations. Knowledge is power. Look for bottlenecks and communication issues. Review how your customers deal with you and strive to make it as easy as possible. It is axiomatic that we still make most of our money with “old” technology. But the time is coming when new technology can make a difference in your plant. Your data will tell you why.

Buy and use wisely. Perform test runs with actual jobs. Check with other users. Consider leasing. Cutting costs should be a relentless activity. But using technology to enter new markets is perhaps more important than ever. Many traditional printed products are being replaced by digital alternatives. Look for new areas of growth. I expect a constant stream of new technology in 2021. Large trade shows may not run in 2021 but the new stuff will keep on coming. Many organisations are running virtual events. Thus, the market as it is will be the market we deal with for the next year. There will always be surprises. Thus, if you want to acquire new devices and systems today, you will find excellent alternatives. A major trend is the move to B1 and B2 digital sheet-fed printing systems. Cut-sheet digital machines are now handling additional colours and large sheet sizes, and some can print special effects. Roll-fed digital printers are selling very well because they are very efficient. Offset will always be selling. One new offset press can replace two or even three older presses and their workflows are more and more automated. 2020 has challenged us as no other year has. We have learned to adapt and change and, yes, survive. Printers are tough folks. We made it through 2020 and we will rise again. All the best for 2021. February 2021 ProPrint 21

Printing industry reunited An evening to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Power 50 and the Emerging 50 rising stars hit the sweet spot after a year when we were all kept apart, writes Sheree Young.


fter making it through a gruelling year, the printing industry was able to reunite to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ProPrint Power 50 and the second annual Emerging 50 in November. The COVID-Safe event was held in the ballroom of Sydney’s Shangri-la Hotel with the maximum allowable 80 guests in attendance. Attendees also tuned in from across the country via the hotel’s audio-visual equipment. Whilst this was the first time the Power 50 was held in this format it was not the only first. The other significant milestone was that for the first time the Power 50 was won by a woman with Kellie Northwood, the CEO of The Real Media Collective, winning first place. Northwood and IVE Group executive chairman Geoff Selig have jostled for number one in recent years, but this year it was Northwood’s night with Selig finishing in second spot. The win capped off a big year for Northwood which saw her work tirelessly to keep the industry updated amid confusion over shutdowns, lockdowns and the rules governing COVID-Safe workplaces. In accepting her award, Northwood said: “This industry is filled with wonderful, talented gentlemen, but I am loving the diversity we are seeing also in the Emerging 50 and the diversity in the room tonight. “You all needed clarity on what the government policy meant for our industry and I think we gave that which I am really proud of. “Industry associations are your diplomats, we are your voice. If you are a producer, a designer, a client, a retailer, an agency or a supplier, you


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Let's get together: The 2020 Power 50 and Emerging 50 event gave the industry a much needed chance to catch up with each other.

are welcome because our industry is not just printers, suppliers or paper guys. It is a Collective and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of that.” Other top ten finishers included IVE Group CEO Matt Aitken in third with Lachlan Finch, a co-director at Rawson Print Co., taking fourth. In accepting his award, Finch offered his congratulations to the entire industry. “I am amongst the company of some pretty amazing people and in fact everyone in this room I would like to congratulate you all for what’s been a super tough year in a tough industry,” Finch said. “I love this industry. I have been in it all my life, I was born in this industry. From two years of age, I was playing around in the bales in Rawson Graphics. I love what we do, and I am very passionate about it.” Brother and sister duo, Debbie Burgess and John Bright of Bright Print Group, finished in fifth. “As an industry we have always had to deal with a lot of challenging times with technology and this shows we are a very adaptable and resilient industry. Resilience is certainly something we have all had to have in spades this year so congratulations to everybody and well done to the Emerging 50,” Burgess said. “We certainly do need a lot of newer faces in the industry. We are all starting to get a little bit jaded, so it is great to see new people coming through.” Taylor’d Press creative print director and Victoria’s Women in Print Patron, Kirsten Taylor, finished in sixth spot, while the directors of Carbon8, Kenneth Beck and Peter Musarra came seventh. “This is very humbling indeed for a


couple of blokes who fell in love with print and love the creative side of it. To the Emerging 50 – it is all about team. Kalani (Hohlein) was one of our Emerging 50 nominees and she is amazing,” Musarra said. Eighth spot went to mental health and suicide prevention advocate, Man Anchor founder, Steven Gamble – who is also the national sales manager at Böttcher Australia. “I started in this industry when I was 16 so I am passionate about print and the people who work in print. I am very fortunate to have so many role models, some are in this room and some are not. We all need to look after our people because the people in print are print,” Gamble said. Cliff Brigstocke, CEO of production and distribution at IVE Group, finished in ninth spot with industry legend Keith Ferrel of Cactus Imaging rounding out the top ten.

Rising stars recognised

The Emerging 50 were also recognised with those who were able to physically attend joined by others tuning in around the country. The Emerging 50 recognises members of the industry with five years or less experience in any sector, including graphic design, prepress, production, sales, account management and distribution. A 12-month mentorship programme was up for grabs, provided by The Real Media Collective. Kelsey Wade, a third-year prepress apprentice at printDNA in Renmark, SA, won the mentorship prize from a field of 32 entries. Preparations are now underway for Wade to begin her mentorship programme with her flights generously being provided by Emerging 50 sponsor Starleaton.




Kellie Northwood, The Real Media Collective



Geoff Selig, IVE Group


Kirsten Taylor, Taylor’d Press

2020 top 10 4

Matt Aitken, IVE Group


Peter Musarra & Kenneth Beck, Carbon8


Lachlan Finch, Rawson Print Co.


Steven Gamble, Man Anchor


Cliff Brigstocke, IVE Group

Debbie Burgess, Bright Print Group


Keith Ferrel, Cactus Imaging February 2021 ProPrint 23

Print leaders recognised at Power 50 The 2020 Power 50 gave the printing industry the perfect opportunity to come together after a long year spent apart due to COVID-19 restrictions. The ballroom of the Shangri-la Hotel in Sydney provided the perfect setting and its topclass audio visual equipment meant viewers in other cities and towns could also join in the fun. 2










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1. Printer Media Group MD James Wells and The Real Media Collective CEO Kellie Northwood 2. An overview of the Shangri-la ballroom 3. World class audio visual set-up 4. Printer Media Group national sales manager Carmen Ciappara with Taylor'd Press director Kirsten Taylor 5. Currie Group's Anthony Jackson and Craig Walmsley of HP 6. Bannershop's Justin Melbourne & Kimberley Melbourne 7. Cactus Imaging's Keith Ferrel with Durst Oceania MD Matt Ashman 8. A sneak peak at Visual Connections' display for the event 9. IVE Group's Cliff Brigstocke in conversation 10. 2020 Top Ten Power 50 winners 11. Power 50 name tags at the beginning of the night 12. Power 50 trophies for the Top Ten 13-14 . The audience enjoying the moment 15. ProPrint editor Sheree Young kicks off the evening 16. Italy-based Durst CEO Christoph Gamper delivers a special Power 50 video on the night 17. Charles Batt, MBE Parramatta 18. Darren Delaney, AllKotes 19. Alex Coulson, Heroprint 20. Percy Vij, Centrum Printing 21. Romeo Sanuri, Next Printing 22. Individually printed champagne boxes for the Top Ten 23. The Real Media Collective's Kellie Northwood and Media Super's Peter Cleary 24. Carbon8 co-director Peter Musarra 25. Sandra Duarte, Centrum Printing 26. Yohei Konaka, Konica Minolta; Power 50 winner Kellie Northwood and Sue Threlfo, Konica Minolta 27. PVCA secretary Theo Pettaras with Carbon8 co-directors Peter Musarra and Kenneth Beck 28. Carbon co-directors Peter Musarra and Kenneth Beck 29. The team from Konica Minolta Australia 30. Former ProPrint graphic designer Linda Gunek with Bright Print Group's Debbie Burgess

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Rising stars recognised The Emerging 50 recognises the industry's rising stars and is continuing to grow in popularity and support. The initiative is now in its second year and the 2020 award included a 12-month Real Media Collective mentorship for one lucky winner. This was deservingly won by Kelsey Wade, a prepress apprentice from printDNA in Renmark, South Australia. 1



26 ProPrint February 2021




















1. The 2020 Emerging 50 celebrate with the initiative's supporters and sponsors 2. Alexander Vij, Showcard Mounters 3. Ashleigh Boyling, IVE Group 4. Kalani Hohlein, Carbon8 5. Rahul Reddy, IVE Group 6. Zafana Haq, IVE Group 7. Matthew Zunic, Imagination Graphics 8. Starleaton proudly supported the 2020 Emerging 50 9. Benjamin Greatorex, CCL and Brenton Kordahi 10. The 2020 Emerging 50 members in physical attendance 11. Yianni Moratidis, GENR8 Printing 12. Emily Watterson, Cactus Imaging 13. Marilyn Li, Cactus Imaging 14. Lani Draheim, Rawson Print Co. 15. Phillip and Andrea Trumble of Pozitive, proud sponsors of the Emerging 50 16. IVE Group's Ashleigh Boyling, Zafana Haq and Rahul Reddy 17. Starleaton's John Buitenkamp and Ben Eaton 18. Robert Laing, Messe Reps and Charles Batt, MBE Parramatta 19. ProPrint editor Sheree Young 20. Pozitive's Joshua Hartas 21. The Real Media Collective's Kellie Northwood announces Kelsey Wade of printDNA as the mentorship prize winner 22. The crowd watches on as the evening progresses



February 2021 ProPrint 27

Thank you to all our generous sponsors SPONSORED BY

2021 Details Coming Soon What is the Power 50? The Power 50 recognises the leaders and innovators in Australia's print industry - the people who drive it forward with vision and courage. Every year the industry nominates who it thinks deserves to be recognised in the Power 50. Each nominee, as well as the broader industry, then has the opportunity to judge who they believe should make it into the Power 50. Independent auditors review the numbers to make sure all is correct and above board.

Introducing the Power 50 Hall of Fame The Power 50 is now 10 years old and so it is time for a refresh. In light of this and in response to your feedback, we are excited to introduce the Power 50 Hall of Fame. In 2021 Power 50 winners over the last decade will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

How can I get involved? To become a valued sponsor of the Power 50 please contact Carmen Ciappara on 0410 582 450 or Editorial enquiries to Sheree Young on 0402 759 893 or

Thank you to our generous foundation partner and sponsors FOUNDATION PARTNER


2021 Details Coming Soon What is the Emerging 50? The Emerging 50 burst onto the scene two years ago to recognise the rising stars of Australia’s print industry. Emerging 50 recipients have a maximum of five years experience in all areas of the industry including production, sales, graphic design and administration. Emerging 50 recipients tend to be nominated by employers who wish to celebrate and recognise the hard work and dedication their staff show. It is hoped that as time goes by and the careers of Emerging 50 nominess flourish, they will find themselves on the Power 50.

The future is in safe hands If the 2020 Emerging 50 nominees are anything to go by, the future of the industry is in safe hands. To help ensure this, 2020 Emerging 50 nominees were invited to apply for a 12-month mentorship, provided by The Real Media Collective.

How can I get involved? If you would like to support this great initiative please contact Carmen Ciappara on 0410 582 450 or Editorial enquiries to Sheree Young on 0402 759 893 or


Meet Konica Minolta’s new MD Yohei Konaka officially became Konica Minolta’s new managing director in October 2020. Take this opportunity to learn more about his plans for this innovative manufacturer. It’s been a challenging year to start a new role, how have you found the transition in these unusual times so far?

I officially started my role of managing director of Konica Minolta Australia on October 1, 2020. Before that I remotely worked for almost six months with the senior executive team and utilised this time to understand the Australian market, which gave me a valuable head start on creating a vision for the next 12 months and beyond. I am very proud of the way our team managed during the pandemic, particularly the support we were able to offer to our customers during these difficult times. Konica Minolta is positive about the future for

Australian printers and there are some very promising signs in the market already.

What is your assessment for business requirements in 2021? What do you think the priorities of Australian print businesses will be?

The print industry has gone through a very challenging time. I am confident from what I have seen so far, and the people I have met, that most businesses will see their way through. I have spoken with some entrepreneurial printers who are working on innovative ideas to ensure their businesses are sustainable as we come out the other side of this pandemic. They are looking to find new revenue streams and are focusing on value. It is evident that printers are seeking solutions that can improve productivity and ultimately their bottom line through automation.

How will Konica Minolta help deliver on these needs?

Konica Minolta sees a clear opportunity to continue to expand its portfolio in growth areas. Some of these include digital label printing, digital embellishment, B2+ UV inkjet, wide format, and packaging. Adding these capabilities to our already strong portfolio of toner production print systems means Konica Minolta is ideally positioned to

help customers grow into new areas. As a trusted partner in the industry, we build longterm relationships with our customers and create differentiation through our innovative products and services.

In your view what are the biggest areas of growth for Konica Minolta – where do the main opportunities lie for the business to better serve customers?

The struggle to stay profitable and survive is driving commercial printers to look at ways to streamline costs. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through automation. At Konica Minolta we offer an array of unique technologies that automate manual print processes, including our IQ-501 for automated colour control and registration accuracy and world first inline trimming unit TU-510, which can trim, crease and perforate inline. We see the TU-510 as a real game changer for the industry. It means printers can produce a variety of finished print products inline and at the same time save valuable operator time and ultimately reduce manual labour costs. We also expect that printers will be looking to diversify and expand the value they can offer their clients, profitably. Our industrial print portfolio can certainly help with this

Power 50 2020: Yohei Konaka with Konica Minolta’s Sue Threlfo and 2020 Power 50 winner Kellie Northwood of The Real Media Collective (centre)

30 ProPrint February 2021

with our KM-1 for B2+UV inkjet, our AccurioLabel 230 for digital label printing and MGI digital embellishment solutions.

COVID-19 has impacted how companies communicate with customers. What strategies will the company focus on to ensure its message gets across to the broader print community? Since COVID-19 hit, we have been rethinking the way we communicate with customers and this has resulted in a hybrid approach to the way we communicate. In the early stages of the COVID-19 lockdown, we launched the new C14000 series and attracted 200 attendees to our online event, which was a great result. Since then, we have continued on this path with a number of virtual events, including webinars as we now know how great the customer response is to these types of opportunities. In the future we will continue with this hybrid approach ¬ virtual and physical events ¬ as we understand the value of face-to-face interactions when it comes to building strong relationships.

What is the key research and development focus for Konica Minolta for the next five years?

Konica Minolta is always looking at ways to ignite new print opportunities. This means focusing on areas that will help our customers grow. Even though it’s a challenging time for the print industry, we are continuing to invest in the market and, as a global company, this remains our mandate. Globally, Konica Minolta invests continually in research and development (R&D) to deliver leading solutions to help printers build for now and in the future. Konica Minolta has also now expanded into New Zealand with a direct operation. This is another key indicator of Konica Minolta’s commitment to investing in this region. We will also continue to partner with other organisations to bring new technologies to market such as robotics, remote services monitoring, and more.

Yohei Konaka has spent 20 years with Konica Minolta, including appointments in Japan, USA and Canada

with most solutions sold direct. Having spent time in US and Canada I am keen to encourage better collaboration between Konica Minolta’s subsidiaries. I am sure we can certainly learn a lot from some of the successes of our global counterparts, and vice versa.

Have you ever worked in Australia before or spent much time here?

No, I have not, but I am very much looking forward to getting out to meet our customers across Australia. I am also looking forward to exploring some of the beautiful sites with my family. I have already taken a quick trip to Adelaide and met some customers and wow, what a beautiful city.

Konica Minolta Australia is well known for its successful corporate social responsibility practices. How are you planning to continue this great work?

Konica Minolta is a global leader when it comes to corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and other important causes. This commitment is in our DNA. I will always

endeavour to combine business and sustainability management strategies, so the sustainable growth of the company’s operations creates meaningful value for customers and society. We work closely with a number of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and have done a lot of great work in the areas of modern slavery, ethical sourcing and reconciliation. We recently revealed the artwork and the artist selected for the design of our first ever Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). We are committed to contributing to the reconciliation journey between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and all other people in the community to help improve life outcomes and opportunities and to create a better future for society at large. Konica Minolta has also submitted its first Modern Slavery Statement, which represents another significant milestone in our advocacy and leadership in this area. I am looking forward to continuing this work with our team as I feel this is a key contributor towards Konica Minolta Australia creating value for society.

The work of artist Jasmine Sarin, a proud Kamilaroi and Jerringa woman from NSW, was chosen for the design of Konica Minolta’s first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan

You have spent significant amounts of time working in the US and Canada. How do you see Australia as different to those markets?

Having been in the role for a short time I am still discovering new things about the Australian market. However, I have noted there are a lot of similarities between the Australian and Canadian markets. They are alike in terms of population, geography, market size and business challenges. The sales models for Australia and Canada are also alike,

February 2021 ProPrint 31





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Built tough: The gantry of the heavy-duty US-made Colex SharpCUT PRO utilises aerospace aluminium alloy


Pick up the pace with a new Colex SharpCUT PRO Colex’s latest offering in digital cutting has upped the ante when it comes to speed and automation with the new SharpCUT PRO, the fastest cutter of its type in the Australian market.


ersatile, affordable and robust are the best words to describe the recently upgraded Colex SharpCUT PRO digital cutter, distributed in Australia by Amari Visual Solutions. Amari Visual Solutions has been distributing the US-built Colex range of cutters since 2015 and in that time has seen a steady increase in the popularity of the cutter with more and more printers enjoying the benefits of its capabilities and attractive, affordable price point. 34 ProPrint February 2021

The cutters are all engineered and built from the ground-up in a manufacturing plant in Elmwood Park in New Jersey, just a short distance from New York City. The company was founded in 1972 by Werner Waden and remains to this day a privately-owned entity. In its early days, Colex produced wide format photo processors but with the rapid decline of film-based photography, the company’s leaders realised it needed to reinvent itself and decided to shift its focus to the thriving wide format and print finishing markets. It didn’t take long for the company to spot a gap in the market between knifing tables and router tables and set about making a table that was capable of both functions. In 2008, Colex began designing and building the first Colex Flatbed Cutter in-house at the company’s Elmwood Park. The results speak for themselves as an increasing number of SharpCUT machines find their way into print shops all over the world. The first SharpCUT was sold in 2010. This grew to 500 units worldwide in 2018 and by the end of 2019 over 700 SharpCUT devices were in action globally.

Upgrade doubles speed, increases automation

Now Colex has updated its original machine, which comes in four sizes: 1700mm x 1700mm; 1700mm x 3200mm; 3200mm x 1525mm and 3200mm x 3200mm. The upgraded series includes two models with the SharpCUT SX PRO designed for sheetfed materials and the SharpCUT SXC PRO built with a conveying table that allows for the automatic loading of roll materials and production sheet runs. Amari Visual Solutions hardware manager Daniel Yeoman says the speed improvements make it the fastest cutting table currently on the Australian market while also providing an accurate cut with a machine finished edge. “The upgraded and updated movement design significantly improves production speeds with the maximum cutting speed up to 2030 millimetres per second with perfect repeatability, up from the old 1067 millimetres per second,” Yeoman said. “Acceleration has also increased to 0.86G, up from the old 0.35G. Continued on page 36


From $125,000 + GST Colex SharpCUT PRO is a powerful and versatile digital cutting system incorporating interchangeable tools and powerful router, to accommodate all cutting and finishing requirements. SharpCUT PRO at a glance: • Available in 4 different bed size options from 1700mm to 3200mm wide • Available in fixed and conveyor belt options • Cutting speeds up to 80 inches per second (122 metres per minute) • 63.5mm maximum cutting height • 3HP 24,000rpm router standard (5HP option) • Video recognition system and software • Optical print registration • Strongest and most powerful Cutting Head and Beam on the market • Dust Extraction System • 6kw Bed suction

Fastest Cutting Table in Australia!

Accurately cut: • Self-Adhesive Films • PVC Banner • Papers • Cardboard • Leather • Magnet • Fabrics & Textiles • Corflute • PVC Foam • Foam Board • Gatorboard • Honeycomb Board • Styrene • Aluminium Composite Panel • Acrylic • Polycarbonate • Hard and Soft Plastics • Timber • Aluminium • and much more


Amari Visual Solutions


Versatility: The Colex SharpCUT PRO is equally at home with fabric and vinyl as it is with rigid stocks

Continued from page 34

“This makes the SharpCUT PRO the fastest cutting table on the Australian market.”

This makes the SharpCUT PRO the fastest cutting table on the Australian market. The other feature of the upgraded SharpCUT PRO range is it is also packaged with Colex’s Cut Center 8 software, which has the ability to read QR codes for automation, improved data collection and material settings and features.

Versatility, repeatability guaranteed

The versatile Colex SharpCUT PRO is equally at home cutting flexible rolls including fabric, PVC, paper and leather as it is cutting rigid stock like acrylic, composite panels, corflute, foamboard and aluminium up to 63.5mm thick. Many printers are using the Colex SharpCUT range on a variety of applications including graphic and print finishing, displays and point of purchase, packaging, textile and fabric finishing, plus many other manufacturing applications. Being constructed from a one-piece steel welded frame, rack and pinion drive and utilising cutting edge componentry and materials means the SharpCUT PRO is not only reliable but extremely easy to service and maintain. Yeoman says this robustness also brings 36 ProPrint February 2021

many benefits for printers as they don’t need to enter expensive service contracts or foot the bill for ongoing service costs. “It is designed to be end user maintained so this has removed a great deal of extra expense from the equation,” Yeoman said. The price point continues to be an attractive drawcard for many print providers. “The SharpCUT’s capabilities and price point make it an attractive solo finishing tool for small to large printing and sign shops to help speed up production and promote business growth,” Yeoman said. “Finishing has become the easy and fast step in production.” It is also built tough. The solid steel welded frame of the SharpCUT PRO utilises aerospace aluminium alloy gantry and this has enabled it to use heavy-duty 24,000 RPM industrial spindles on either cutting table in 3HP or 5HP variants. Yeoman says this sort of strength is usually only found on dedicated router tables. “The SharpCUT’s triple tool head features an industrial router and two interchangeable pneumatic tool handlers,” Yeoman said, adding the interchangeable tools include fixed knifes for cutting flexible and semi rigid materials, oscillating knifes for soft rigid materials like foamboard, a V-Cut knife for V-Grooving foamboard and card stocks, creasing wheels for packaging applications and rotary knifes for fabric. The Colex Cut Center also utilises an optical camera and registration marks for accurate automated print and cut alignment. Routing swarf is also taken care of with an integrated dust extraction system for clean operation which is of constant importance in printing environments. Amari Visual Solutions offers a strong portfolio of wide format printers, sign vinyl,

vehicle wrap vinyl, digital print media, surface protection laminating films plus a large range of rigid sheet materials. The Colex SharpCUT is the perfect fit in Amari Visual Solutions’ product portfolio because it not only offers a finishing solution for their range of Roland and Flora wide format printing equipment, but also cuts their entire range of roll and rigid materials. For more information, please visit www. PP

What the customers say Shannon McDonell from West Wyalong Signs recently took delivery of the first SharpCUT SX1717 PRO in Australia through Amari Visual Solutions and says the biggest advantages to the machine is the time it is saving her due to the automated workflow features. Shannon supplies diamond grade reflective stickers to the mining industry and needed a cutter that was both small enough to fit in her existing set-up, but also tough enough to handle whatever job came through the door. This includes die cut stickers, kiss cutting vinyl, shaping corflute, v-routing alupanel, making custom cardboard packing boxes, routing acrylic and cutting reflective. She says the new Colex is saving her a great deal of time, compared to manually measuring and cutting on the guillotine. “I was looking for a multi-purpose table and I liked that the Colex had a router that took standard hardware and that I wasn’t stuck with limited bits that I could only buy from the manufacturer,” she said. “I was impressed with the number of substrates it could work with and I could see a lot of ways the Colex would save me time in the shop and allow me to offer a range of more creative products to my customers.”


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20 years on: Pegasus Print Group general manager Sam Carter and AAB Holdings chief executive officer Wayne Finkelde

AAB Holdings eyes its next move AAB Holdings is celebrating its 20th year in business and is using the milestone to reveal its plans for further expansion.

L By Sheree Young

ike many businesses, AAB Holdings faced multiple challenges due to COVID19. The pandemic coincided with the company’s 20th year of service to the print and logistics industries and created hurdles once considered unthinkable. “The pandemic presented us with a unique set of challenges, but we are no stranger to challenges over the past 20 years, especially in this ever evolving industry,” AAB Holdings CEO Wayne Finkelde told ProPrint. “But we are still here and trading strong, albeit in a different shape and from 20 years ago.” As one of Australia’s most successful end-toend print businesses, AAB Holdings owns Pegasus Print Group, SOS Print + Media, F&M Supplies and AB Warehousing & Logistics. In the midst of the pandemic, it also expanded

factfile Age: 20 years Staff: 225 Strategy: A diversified business that has journeyed beyond print and into distribution, logistics and fulfilment with an eye out for where it can go next 38 ProPrint February 2021

with the purchase of UltraPress, which Finkelde says strategically added to the group’s capabilities. “It was a timely acquisition as we saw a great deal of large format display production that would normally have gone to low cost manufacturing companies in South East Asia coming back to Australia, so we were well prepared to take it on,” Finkelde said. But this extra offering was not enough to shield AAB Holdings from the pain of the pandemic, as publication and commercial print was hit hard, and early. Finkelde responded, as many businesses around the country did, by snapping into action and grouping together with his senior management team, including Pegasus Print Group general manager Sam Carter to devise a plan. Board members, senior management, admin, sales and production personnel all agreed to pay cuts to support the business. “It was all hands-on deck with no job considered too small or insignificant for anyone across the company to carry out,” Finkelde said. Fast forward to December 2020 and Finkelde reports stronger trading results with growth within several industry sectors, including a lift in grocery retail and FMCG activities and a three-fold increase in selfadhesive label production within the company’s large pharmaceutical client base.

No stranger to acquisitions The history of AAB Holdings dates back to 1929 when Woolworths established Woolprint to meet the retailer’s growing print and packaging needs in Australia. This business later became known as Chisholm Manufacturing. Then, in June 2000 Pegasus Print Group was borne when a trio of buyers established AAB Holdings Pty Ltd to buy the business when then Woolworths CEO Roger Corbett decided to shed non-core assets. This is where Finkelde, a third generation printing industry stalwart, entered the picture.

Finkelde was brought in to run the new company, which also included a food service arm. The takeover was a safe bet with lucrative Woolworths contracts in place and endless room to upscale. In 2004, the group acquired the wellestablished MAPS Litho in Sydney’s northern suburb of Frenchs Forest. Another acquisition quickly followed with the purchase of a boutique digital printer known for servicing Sydney’s elite agencies. Located in Sydney’s Rosebery, this addition placed yet another feather in AAB Holdings’ cap. Suddenly, AAB Holdings had three manufacturing sites across Sydney, but this presented the business with a new challenge. With the three trading companies continuing to operate under their respective brands, an identity question arose. So Finkelde brought Greg Hourigan into the business to develop a group branding and marketing strategy. “At the time the group had an enormous industry advantage due to its expanding capacity and capabilities,” Hourigan told ProPrint. “Overnight group capabilities went from just an offset printer to an offset printer with expanded capabilities in high-end digital and on demand printing and then throw in mailing services. No other organisation in Australia could match this kind of USP. “The group as a whole was greater than its parts, and that was exactly the competitive advantage the group set out to achieve.” Hourigan then set about rebranding the three companies under the one Pegasus Print Group banner. In 2018 Finkelde was again on the acquisition path with the purchase of SOS Print + Media. This company is known for its innovation in display design and campaign management systems and also specialises in on-demand digital book printing for several international bluechip companies. In 2020 along came UltraPress, which fits

STAR BUSINESS PROFILE under the Pegasus Print Group banner and operates from the group’s mega site in Sydney’s west producing super large offset sheets up to 1600mm x 1200mm. This complemented a wide format investment in 2019 when AAB Holdings purchased a Durst digital wide format press and a Roland large format offset press and associated finishing equipment.

Acquisition trail Finkelde says he is often approached by businesses looking to be bought out. “We are on the acquisition path and I talk to a lot of different companies of all sizes,” Finkelde said. “You talk to businesses that are turning over millions, you know $10 or $15 million – mind you they were turning over $15 million before COVID but now they are turning over $7.5 million and they haven’t made any changes to their business, they don’t know what postCOVID is going to look like and I say I am pretty damn sure it is not going to be back to where you were.” Already within the AAB Holdings group is a promotional merchandising business, F&M Supplies, along with AB Warehousing & Logistics, which continues to grow in strength. “Demand for integrated warehousing and logistics has become an integral feature of our offering when print managing on behalf of our clients,” Finkelde said.

AAB Holdings printing heritage goes back to the 1960’s when Woolworths acquired Tom Benson’s silk screen printing operation and become Woolprint

the IT infrastructure and systems to support the expansion of our existing services. We are also looking at growth strategies through diversification into alternate communication channels such as multi and omnichannel marketing for web, SMS, email and direct mail.”

Innovation is the only forward

Controlling destiny

Finkelde is realistic about business and has a print pedigree that gives him a crystal-clear understanding about the industry. He admits that whilst ink on paper has given ground to digital communication, print still has a life and is here to stay, but the role it plays and the form it takes will vary deeply. In Finkelde’s mind, printers are creative thinkers. He says printers can think outside of the box and are at the forefront of new ideas when it comes to innovations that keep customers satisfied and develop new frontiers of what is possible, whether through retail, display, packaging, direct mail, or catalogues. Continued innovation in the areas of design, packaging, warehousing and fulfilment and IT is where Finkelde sees the growth and where AAB Holdings is heading. “We are looking at more design, more fulfilment, more warehousing and logistics and

Finkelde attributes AAB Holdings’ success to being able to control its own desinty in just about every part of the print and post-print process including finishing, warehousing, picking, packing, distribution and logistics. “We are now 98 per cent vertically integrated and our growth will come through acquisitions,” Finkelde said. Learning from others in the industry is also crucial for success, Finkelde says. He is not afraid to pick up the phone and seek advice from other leaders in the industry about the best way forward. During the height of COVID he implemented new management practices shared with him by one of his clients to address the unprecendented circumstances surrounding COVID. During the worst months of the pandemic, this client provided Finkelde with a detailed monthly report on how its business was

Pegasus Print Group is based at the AAB Holdings main factory at Blacktown in Sydney

tracking. This was designed to keep everyone in the loop, both internally and externally. Finkelde followed suit and provided updates to the company’s top 25 customers and staff so everyone understood the status of the business.

Industry threats When asked about what the biggest threat to the industry, Finkelde is clear – Australia Post. “I have probably lost more customers in 10 years because Australia Post keep jacking up their price compared to the print and paper price increases. These days it can cost more to post than it does to print,” Finkelde said. “I think the publication market will be a challenge, number of publishers, advertising in publications, postage, this all means publishing is under pressure. The big publishers are merging and doing less publications. “We are very open about where we want to grow. We are even looking at mail houses. In our industry today direct mail is still popular so that is another string to our bow that we need to be in, at a reasonable price point. “If we can expand in this sector, at a reasonable cost with reasonable revenue, you could squeeze the lemon for the next five years. With all printing, folding, binding, mounting, die cutting and mailing services in-house, we control the cost.” And does he have any advice for printers on how to do better and improve margin? “I think the pressure is going to be on smaller printers that want to outsource the folding and the stitching,” he said. “They don’t have a lot to offer apart from good customer service and customers these days are looking for more than just good customer service. “If you no longer add value, your company is no longer of value. “Customers, historically, would have gone to an advertising agency for ideas and concepts but now they come to us and ask us what the market is doing in terms of innovation. “Smaller operators would do well to try and get in on this intel.” PP February 2021 ProPrint 39


Clean, lean and green In the 2020s, sustainability in the printing industry is transforming from an ideal or even a desired principle into a standardised objective that is rapidly becoming integrated into the chain of custody. By Peter Kohn


n today’s printing industry, there is an array of standards – the ISO9001 Quality and ISO14001 Environment platforms, Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) approved stocks and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) accreditation. No waystation along the chain of custody will want to ignore or neglect these standards, as they are now part of the business case. Corporations and manufacturers have all read the market and have adapted their practices to create product that will be acceptable to environmentally minded Australian consumers. But does all this apply in the areas print is

Bright Print Group’s Agfa Arkana Processor has reduced production waste due to 40 February usingProPrint cleaner and fewer 2021 chemicals

heading for – the new domains of printing on signage, on furniture, on laminates and on retail shelf packaging? ProPrint asked some of Australia’s leading print enterprises about their sustainability stories to find out how they have done it.

Bright Print Group This dynamic Sydney company has blazed a trail on sustainability. Co-directors John Bright and Debbie Burgess say the sustainable goals of Bright Print Group (BPG) are not just limited to machinery and consumables but are also reflected in the attitudes of tradespeople and staff who consciously maintain these habits.

As time passed, environmentally conscious methods and questions have become part of the everyday conversation. Debbie Burgess, co-director, Bright Print Group

“Since 2008, BPG has held the internationally recognised accreditation ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management System. Initially this accreditation created the need for an overall shift in company thinking but as time passed, environmentally conscious methods and questions have become part of the everyday conversation,” Burgess told ProPrint. Bright and Burgess apply numerous environmental safeguards within their company. In 2019, BPG installed an Agfa Arkana Processor which limits production waste due to its use of cleaner and fewer chemicals than the previous model. The Arkana also eliminates the need for rinse water. Then in 2020, BPG installed a PlateRite 8600 NII Z + SA-L8900 Auto Loader from Screen GP. This device has improved operational efficiency, as well as having power saving and standby modes, greatly reducing energy consumption compared to previous models. In the wide-format area, BPG’s two

World first: Impact International has taken its sustainability efforts to a new level with the purchase of a 46-hectare pine forest to help customers’ offset their own carbon emissions

primary presses (producing 75 per cent of all work in this area) are LED, eliminating the need for mercury disposal and ozone gas extraction. This also results in significantly reduced energy consumption. In 2018, BPG approached air compression specialist, Kaeser, to perform an analysis for an improved compressed air system due to the introduction of the wide-format department. Kaeser analysed the power consumption and energy efficiency of the existing system and presented new scenarios, demonstrating energy efficient comparisons. “This enabled us to choose the option which best fit the current circumstances and provided a viable solution for the next five-toten years. The existing Kaeser Aircentre 15 was kept, and in conjunction, a new Kaeser Aircentre 25 was installed,” Burgess says. “The Aircentre itself is an all-in-one compressed air system with a rotary screw compressor-block, and energy saving Sigma Profile rotors. Designed for maximum energy efficiency, this profile can achieve power savings of up to 15 per cent compared to conventional screw compressor-block rotor profiles.” In the electricity space, solar panels are installed at both the BPG and NCP Printing facilities. The company has been able to reduce consumption from the grid by an average of 33 per cent daily. Sensor lights are installed in amenities and lights are switched off in common areas when not in use. Back in 2008, BPG installed a water recirculation unit on its CtP processor which at that time saved a staggering 92 per cent of water use, says Bright. “With technological improvement and

progressively more environmentally efficient methods, we now have a CtP processor that needs no rinse water,” Bright told ProPrint. “For the little water that is used throughout the factory, we have a Sydney Waterauthorised onsite sub-ground pit designed to filter water, should there be any contaminants present. Our primary use of water now is via staff amenities.” Looking at recycling, BPG has several

streams throughout the company. Office printers, a proofer and digital press ink cartridges are recycled with Planet Ark. Staff are also encouraged to bring cartridges from home for recycling. Soft plastics such as pallet wrapping are compacted onsite in the Elephant’s Foot for collection by recycling contractors. The company also uses recycled plastic within its despatch department and asks its suppliers to minimise plastic packaging wherever possible. All paper waste generated by jobs or general miscellaneous paper waste is shredded by BPG’s onsite industrial paper shredder and collected for recycling. In partnership with recycler Corex, production waste from wide-format jobs using polypropylene and corflute is collected regularly for recycling. Burgess explains that all lithographic inks are soy-based, and spray powder is fully digestible. “UV LED inks used for our Jeti and Anapurna wide-format presses conform to the stringent Greenguard certification,” Burgess says. With chemicals, BPG does not generate any toxic emissions. “All our chemicals are environmentally friendly and low volatility – most chemicals are water miscible,” Burgess says. “The few chemicals still used for machinery maintenance, such as oil, are stored and collected by licensed waste contractors.” Burgess says NCP, the company’s purposebuilt printing facility in Mayfield West, utilises building materials that were determined on acoustic and thermal qualities, insulation, cross-ventilation and also features a sophisticated air extraction Continued on page 42

This new Kaesar Aircentre air compressor has achieved energy savings of up to 15 per cent for Bright Print Group

February 2021 ProPrint 41


system that utilises temperature-controlled energy efficient automation. “It all helps to maintain a constant temperature within our factory area, without the need for air conditioning and the associated high energy use. Induction lighting, new compressors and better digital technology assist with minimising our carbon footprint,” Burgess said.

Impact International Family-owned business Impact International takes great pride in its sustainability achievements with the latest bold initiative of this Sydney-based packaging enterprise being the purchase of its very own forest. The origins of what led to the sustainable forest project began years ago, when ecologically mindful manufacturing became part of the way things were done at Impact’s Smithfield manufacturing site, managing director Aleks Lajovic told ProPrint. In 2018, Impact installed 1,000 solar panels at Smithfield, now generating an average of at least 1,100kWh of green energy per day. This helps reduce its CO2 emissions by an average of 900 kilograms per day, notes Lajovic. Then in 2019, Impact developed its sustainable plastic tubes which are manufactured using a sugar cane-based polymer and recycled plastic. These tubes won a gold medal at the Australian Institute of Packaging annual PIDA awards in the health, wellness, and beauty category. Impact International’s sustainable tubes also won a 2020 WorldStar Packaging Award, a huge achievement for any packaging company. “In 2021, our focus will be on further reducing our carbon footprint as we work to becoming a carbon-neutral tube manufacturer,” notes Lajovic. “We will use a multi-pronged approach on our journey. One prong is the Impact forest, which is a world first. Have you ever heard of a packaging company that has their own forest?” The 21-hectare forest, located 40 minutes from Canberra, is a former farm which was previously in a state of disrepair. The former owners of the 167-hectare property divided it up into four sections. Each section was graded on the quality of the soil and the land’s ability to be productive. The areas with the worst soil quality were turned into an agroforestry pinus radiata (pine) plantation with 20,000 trees between 1999 and 2002. Lajovic says New Zealand research shows the pinus radiata species is especially adept at carbon dioxide capture and that in 2017 this species offset up to 29 per cent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2020 Impact International purchased a 46-hectare lot, which included the 21-hectare radiata pine forest. The forest is home to kangaroos, wombats, echidnas, wallabies, turtles and many other native animals and birds. It was planted with native wildlife in mind, and features wildlife corridors and ample water storage in dams for native animals to use. Apart from 42 ProPrint February 2021

providing a safe home to some of Australia’s most loved native animals, the forest is also helping Impact International’s customers offset their carbon emissions. An independent expert has verified the carbon capture rates of the forest and the existing forest has been divided into 20 individual lots. Customers participating in the sustainable forest initiative use the carbon being captured and stored in their trees to offset the carbon footprint of their tubes.

Moreover, customers can build the carbon offset into their Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) annual report, he advises. APCO encourages business and industry to design sustainability in packaging. “Impact has been selective in which customers we are offering the forest to,” states Lajovic. “For example, if you are a sunscreen brand, we will not have another eight sunscreen brands involved with the forest, giving you a unique selling point and an environmental story that all your competitors cannot easily copy.”

Have you ever heard of a packaging company that has their own forest?

Next Printing

Aleks Lajovic, managing director, Impact International

Each have signs erected, showing the customer’s name and logo, creating a great marketing opportunity for each brand. All lots share equally in the carbon capture allocation. “At the entry to the forest will be a large sign and map, showing the layout of the forest and illustrating where each lot is located,” explains Lajovic. “Our customers’ names will also be located on the map. Customers will also have access to the forest for use in promotional videos, for social media posts, product launches and staff training.” Lajovic says customers will have the opportunity to purchase one or multiple shares in the forest with the only requirement being a commitment for at least two years at a fixed cost separate to Impact’s tube products. “We believe brand owners will have a unique sustainability story that involves a forest here in Australia. It provides customers with a tangible asset they can visit, touch and hold. And it enables selected brands to be on the front foot and demonstrate their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint,” Lajovic said.

This Sydney-based display print enterprise has been producing sustainable print since its inception, says general manager Andrew Oskar and group managing director Romeo Sanuri. The 16-year-old operation, which traces its origins to a photographic lab in the 1980s, has made the transition from a narrow base of printing on rigid substrates, retaining that but broadening into soft signage during the past decade, after Sanuri saw that segment flourishing in Europe. Next Printing now arguably sits at the top of the ladder as Australia’s finest signage and display fabric printer. Running a premium business model in a market segment that is still a long way from becoming commoditised and ravaged by margin slashers, Next Printing operates in a world of high-performance inks and specialised fabric displays, explains Sanuri. For fabric printing, Next runs a Durst Rhotex 322, a 3.2m direct press for printing coated polyesters, and a Durst Rhotex 180TR 1.8m hybrid direct and transfer press (transfer printing for uncoated polyesters). Both presses use Durst-supplied high-energy dispersed dye-sub inkjets, while two Durst Rho 312 and 320 roll-to-roll presses print vinyl banners and some fabrics using UV inks. For boards and flatsheets, there are two

Next Printing utilises fully recyclable Reboard to produce outstanding displays such as this one for Sephora

SUSTAINABLE PRINTING & PACKAGING FOCUS Durst Rho P10/250 flatbeds, and a smaller HP 360 latex printer. For the best part of a decade now, UV inks have made major advances in sharpness, with a much finer dot, and they harden well under the lamp, with no cracking, even when rolled up or crushed. UV inks also have a good opacity for backlit displays. While Next is committed to fabrics and boards, Sanuri sees fabric banners as having superior logistics – they can be transported into a venue without cumbersome handling issues, such as side-impact damage that can affect rigids. That said, the business believes there will always be a market for versatile, die cut boards, especially in eco-boards such as Reboard, a patented recyclable board made from post-consumer waste. So, what is the sustainability equation with this successful business model? “To produce print sustainably has been in our DNA since the beginning of the company’s journey,” Oskar told ProPrint. “Next was an early adopter of UV printing when the market was still trusting solvent printing. In 2011, Next got into fabric dye sublimation printing with the mission of reducing the packing size and distribution time to the retail environment. Then in 2012, we fully invested the team in adopting Reboard technology. The mission was to reduce the usage of MDF in the events and exhibitions environment. “By partnering with the right waste management company, we offer a closed-loop solution to our customers who are looking for a sustainable approach, which means customers are assured that all of the Reboard component will go to the recycling stream, instead of the landfill.” Last year, the company invested in its third fabric printer, a HP Stitch S1000, which features thermal inkjet printhead technology to help reduce time and waste. The HP Stitch features the first user-replaceable printhead, resulting in reduced downtimes. Most printers require manual action in terms of head maintenance and alignment, but the HP Stitch automates this, explains Oskar.

Customers are starting to shift their preferences towards sustainable product … This helps the raw material supplier to offer a sustainable product in the most costeffective way. Andrew Oskar, general manager, Next Printing

“This year’s initiative sees us offering fabric and laminate made from recycled PET bottles to our clients,” Oskar said. “We’re excited about where the market is heading. Customers are starting to shift their preferences towards sustainable product in

Energy saver: the EFI Nozomi C18000 includes ‘cool cure’ technology to slash electricity use

comparison to traditional product. This helps the raw material supplier to offer a sustainable product in the most cost-effective way, so that we can pass on the benefit. It is a win-win. 2021, we’re on a mission.”

WHAT THE VENDORS SAY AGFA OCEANIA Agfa examines environmental and safety issues through each stage of a product’s life cycle to provide best manufacturing practices and solutions that meet customer needs and cut waste and resource consumption. This includes plate systems that reduce waste, chemistry and energy use; chemistry with reduced Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or gases emitted from some solids or liquids that contribute to ground level air pollution; workflows that reduce waste, such as paper and ink throughout the production chain; and inkjet solutions that minimise the amount of ink, paper and energy. BALL & DOGGETT This paper company’s commitments include FSC certification and a comprehensive programme for endorsing PEFC; businessspecific Environmental Management System accreditation that runs in line with ISO 14001, which means it is continually committed to improving its systems around environmental performance. This ranges from water, energy, emissions to waste. The company is a member of APCO. It is also a member of Sedex, one of the world’s leading ethical trade membership organisations, working with businesses to improve working conditions in global supply chains. CURRIE GROUP Aside from the environmental policies relating to its offering of HP Indigo digital presses, Currie Group has an array of sustainability safeguards in its offset products, such as IPA-free fountain solutions, more environmentally friendly plate chemistry and pressroom solvents that satisfy OH&S and environmental concerns. EFI EFI’s UV LED wide and superwide-format printer portfolio features a greener solution for digital production printing. The printers’ ‘cool cure’ capabilities deliver significant

energy savings, using less energy resources compared with latex or conventional UV digital printing. The EFI Nozomi C18000 LED inkjet single-pass printer can produce high-quality corrugated packaging and displays without the considerable makeready waste required in analogue litho lamination. EFI’s digital front ends and workflow systems also drive efficiency, reduce waste and, as a result, help improve sustainability. FUJIFILM Fujifilm’s environmental policy includes a commitment to work with each stakeholder to promote activities to solve environmental issues. The company pledges to disclose information on environmental initiatives and their results to various stakeholders such as local communities, governments, shareholders and investors, NGOs and NPOs, and its own employees. HP INDIGO DIGITAL PRESSES HP Indigo focuses on five key areas of sustainability. In the manufacturing and supply chain, it separates and manages the treatment of solid and liquid waste streams at its plant in Israel, with 94 per cent of chemical waste recycled, over 70 per cent of liquid waste recycled, and 90 per cent of nonchemical waste recycled. Inks are developed with a longer lifespan requiring fewer replacements and therefore less waste to boost overall productivity. There is increased end-of-life recyclability of supplies, media, and press parts. Presses are designed to maximise the use of media and the number of sellable products. Presses and inks comply with regulations and industry standards which ensure harmful chemicals are not used in inks. In addition, an initiative between ANZ HP Indigo distributor, Currie Group, HP Indigo and Close the Loop has so far stopped over seven tonnes of plastic from going into landfill. This has been achieved by offering sustainable recovery solutions to customers using HP Indigo digital presses as part of an ongoing commitment to lower the environmental impact of commercial printing. Continued on page 44 February 2021 ProPrint 43


HP LARGE-FORMAT PRINTERS HP large-format printers are designed with the environment in mind. Each piece, where it is possible to do so, utilises recycled materials. The technology also meets stringent energy quality certifications including Energy Star, and is able to be returned to HP at the end of its lifecycle to be recycled and repurposed. HP rounds out this offering through its HP Planet Partners consumable programme. This programme makes it possible for empty ink cartridges and other consumables to be be returned, at no cost to the printer owner, and recycled into new ink cartridges and other products. KODAK Two years ago, Kodak revised its environmental strategies to include goals it plans to achieve by 2025. These include approaching zero waste at Kodak sites worldwide, with 99 per cent overall waste diversion from landfill and incineration; reducing greenhouse gas emissions from worldwide operations by 25 per cent; reducing water consumption by 25 per cent from worldwide operations, and tripling the quantity of spent solvents recovered by Kodak from external sources. Additionally, Kodak plans to enable customers to reduce water and energy consumption through innovative products. SCREEN Screen Holdings, the parent of Screen GP in Australia, is committed to a sustainable future. Across its graphic arts and electronic divisions, sustainability is of ever-increasing importance, with the company having now developed the ‘Innovation for a Sustainable World’ programme. In 2016, Screen became a signatory to the

Screen GP’s PlateRite 8600N 11 CtP technology has allowed a 60 per cent drop in energy consumption per plate produced

United Nations Global Compact, to promote global corporate social responsibility. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals also connect with Screen’s corporate philosophies. Local Managing Director Peter Scott says: “Screen believes that technological innovation has great potential to resolve a variety of environmental and social challenges, citing the electronics and information technology industries that will be the drivers of this development. One example is our CtP technology. “Since the introduction of our PlateRite 8600 B1 series of CtP in 2001, energy consumption per plate has dropped by 60 per cent, using fibre LED lasers and overall improvements. In fact, in standby mode, 73 per cent less power is used in today’s series of 8600N II CtP. “Screen’s Spekta 2 hybrid screening technology can also result in around 15 per cent lower ink usage on-press.” Scott also cites greatly reduced water usage, thanks to processless plates: “With our digital printing presses for labels,

packaging and commercial print, sustainability is an intrinsic part of the design and manufacture and, being digital, they are imbued with sustainable benefits such as low waste, VOC-free inks, low print redundancy by printing short runs and small footprints, using less energy.” PP

Screen GP Australia managing director Peter Scott

HP Indigo is committed to sustainability and has clear processes in place at its headquarters in Israel to separate and manage the treatment of solid and liquid waste. 44 ProPrint February 2021

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